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date: 24 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The article examines the rise of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from its foundation in the May Fourth Movement, through the first and second united fronts with the Guomindang to victory following the Sino-Japanese War in 1945. It examines land reform and the campaigns against counter-revolutionaries and the attempt of Mao Zedong to leap into communism through the Great Leap Forward. It shows how Mao concluded from the ‘revisionism’ in the Soviet Union that advance from ‘undeveloped’ to ‘developed’ socialism depends on continuous class struggle against those who would take the capitalist road. The postscript traces China’s rise to the world’s second largest economic power, via policies of export-led and investment- led growth initiated by Deng Xiaoping. It shows that this has bought unprecedented prosperity but also unprecedented inequality. It concludes that rising social conflict does not at present threaten the stability of the CCP.

Keywords: Chinese Communist Party, May Fourth Movement, Guomindang, united front, Sino-Japanese War, land reform, campaigns against counter-revolutionaries, Great Leap Forward, Mao Zedong, Maoism and class struggle, Deng Xiaoping, China world’s second economic powe

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